‘Lego 2’ tops a slug­gish group

The se­quel and three other new films have no an­swer to lin­ger­ing early-year dol­drums.

Los Angeles Times - - THE GRAMMYS - By Son­aiya Kel­ley

Four new wide re­leases could not in­cen­tivize movie­go­ers to hit the­aters this past week­end in the low­est post-Su­per Bowl box of­fice in 10 years.

Warner Bros.’ “The Lego Movie 2: The Sec­ond Part” opened in first place with $35 mil­lion, well be­low an­a­lyst pro­jec­tions of $50 mil­lion to $55 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to es­ti­mates from mea­sure­ment firm Com­score.

The $99-mil­lion postapoc­a­lyp­tic an­i­ma­tion, which earned an 84% “fresh” rat­ing on Rot­ten Toma­toes, is a se­quel to 2014’s “The Lego Movie.” That film opened with $69 mil­lion be­fore tak­ing in $469 mil­lion glob­ally.

This past week­end’s re­sult seems to in­di­cate that au­di­ences are fa­tigued by the fran­chise af­ter the spinoff “The Lego Nin­jago Movie” (which took in a dis­ap­point­ing global haul of $123 mil­lion) failed to achieve the suc­cess of its pre­de­ces­sor “The Lego Bat­man Movie,” which grossed $312 mil­lion world­wide.

Para­mount’s “What Men Want” de­buted at No. 2 with $19 mil­lion, within range of an­a­lyst pre­dic­tions of $18 mil­lion to $20 mil­lion.

A twist on 2000’s Mel Gib­son-led “What Women Want,” the $20-mil­lion “What Men Want” stars Taraji P. Hen­son as an am­bi­tious sports agent who is sud­denly plagued with the abil­ity to hear men’s thoughts. It earned a 48% “rot­ten” rat­ing on Rot­ten Toma­toes but pro­vides a nice come­back for Hen­son whose last picture, 2018’s “Proud Mary,” opened with a dis­ap­point­ing $9.9 mil­lion.

In third place, Lionsgate’s Liam Nee­son-led drama “Cold Pur­suit” pre­miered with $10.8 mil­lion, slightly be­low the ac­tion star’s most re­cent films “The Com­muter” ($13.7 mil­lion last year) and “Run All Night ($11 mil­lion in 2015).

Nee­son re­cently came un­der fire af­ter ad­mit­ting dur­ing the film’s press run to hav­ing con­sid­ered en­gag­ing in a hate crime in re­tal­i­a­tion for a friend’s rape 40 years ago. How­ever, the con­tro­versy doesn’t seem to have af­fected the film’s box of­fice, which slightly ex­ceeded ex­pec­ta­tions and earned a 74% “fresh” rat­ing on Rot­ten Toma­toes.

At No. 4, STX Entertainment’s “The Up­side” re­mained one of the few bright spots in the new year, drop­ping only 17%. It added $7.2 mil­lion in its fifth week­end.

Round­ing out the top five, Uni­ver­sal’s “Glass” added $6.4 mil­lion in its fourth week­end for a cu­mu­la­tive $98.5 mil­lion. The fi­nal new re­lease of the week, Orion Pictures’ “The Prodigy,” came in at No. 6 with $6 mil­lion, just be­low pre­dic­tions of $7 mil­lion to $9 mil­lion.

Sony’s “Miss Bala” dropped to No. 10 af­ter just two week­ends in the­aters, adding $2.7 mil­lion.

Short­sTV and Mag­no­lia Pictures’ “2019 Os­car-Nom­i­nated Short Films” earned $912,000 on 265 screens (a per-screen av­er­age of $3,442), the dis­trib­u­tor’s widest and high­est-gross­ing open­ing week­end in 14 years of re­leas­ing the shorts.

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